The Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s careers strategy: moving forward’ highlights at least three distinct categories of careers service providers, namely:

  • those organisations whose primary function is career education, information, advice and guidance, for example Skills Development Scotland, employability providers.
  • those organisations for whom career education, information, advice and guidance is an important part of their services, for example schools, colleges, universities, Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities
  • those organisations with an interest in CIAG provision, including trade unions, charities, and local community groups.

The career strategy goes on to highlight that these services are delivered by a variety of providers working independently – through formal partnerships or informal arrangements – in a variety of settings.

They cut across the responsibilities of different parts of the Scottish Government and local government and touch upon some elements of the services delivered by the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions and the agency which delivers its working-age support service, Jobcentre Plus.

The strategy also references the fact that many differing organisations throughout Scotland contribute to the development of individuals’ career management skills and employability experiences.

As a collective, these are best described as a ‘careers system’ with relationships formed as part of, or sometimes separate to, the work of Skills Development Scotland.

Their common aim is to assist individuals at differing points throughout their lives to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their career within changing education systems and labour markets. Collectively, they represent a composite careers system that has evolved over time.